Old English: foran-hēafde/hēafod

Chantal-Mary

New Member
German
If I want to analyse a compound noun (concerning gender, case, number and declension) like

foran-hēafde in Old English, which of the two nouns is the head noun?
 
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  • Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    It's like in German. Normally the last element in the compound is the (grammatical) head. So, foran-hēafde should be the dative singular of the neuter noun foran-hēafod. as dictated by "hēafod". There may well be some exceptions (compare the genders of German Gegenteil and Anteil), but I don't know much in details about this.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    There may well be some exceptions (compare the genders of German Gegenteil and Anteil), but I don't know much in details about this.
    That isn't an exception. There is das Teil and der Teil with complementary meanings: das Teil is an individual piece of a group of distinct objects and der Teil is a part of a whole. So, e.g. a spare part is das Ersatzteil and the front part of your house is der Vorderteil. And that is also the reason why it is das Gegenteil and der Anteil.
     
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